The IYLA began its only day in Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love”, at the National Constitution Center. Here, only blocks away from Independence Hall, a panel addressed our young leaders about the global impact of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America.
Our esteemed panel included the moderator, Melinda Sanchez, and speakers Wilson Goode, Malcom T. Byrd, and Kevin McCarthy.
To begin the session, several participants gave a short discourse on their global vision.
“My vision is to make a peaceful society in my country and resolve all conflicts related to religion.” –Mehwish Younis
“My vision is to see identity as a part of relationships, to recognize identity as a part of development of the self in order to become a good leader. To recognize identity, I think is an act of not discrediting other peoples’ histories. Therefore, to move forward and into the future we must also look into the past to balance those imbalances.” –A.V. Putri
“My vision is to have a world of one family, to have people who take action. We need people who take action. We need people who put their words into action, people who serve the community. In doing so we can change the world.” -Luke Yakawich
Today, our speakers recalled a world where inequality was the norm. We live in a constantly
changing world, but no matter how many years pass, integrity and morality in leadership is what inspires real change. We admire the people who have the vision to see the world as it should be, not how it is. Our role as leaders is to be this pillar. Dr. Goode pointed to the young delegates saying, “You’re there to make things better… to represent what’s right.”
Our young leaders followed up the forum with a stroll through Independence Hall, the very building where America’s founders signed a document, a Declaration of Independence, knowing full well that their actions could result in death.
Thomas Jefferson explains the importance of change, of innovative leaders, best when he said,
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
Moral leadership may start change, however, it is innovative leadership that is essential for effective change.